Star Wars: The Old Republic And The ‘Grace Period’ Fiasco

Star Wars: The Old Republic And The ‘Grace Period’ Fiasco

Despite the fact that Australians were involved in the beta, Star Wars: The Old Republic still doesn’t have a local release date. This encouraged many Australians to import the game. To help everyone get online with the game day one, EA and Bioware initially promised a ‘Grace Period’ for those who pre-ordered, meaning that players could get started without the need for their Game Code. Now that promise appears to have been taken back. And people are angry.

It’s a confusing situation. Bioware’s initial solution was this: every consumer who had pre-ordered a copy of the game would have early access to the game client, meaning they could download the game before it was launched. There would also be a ‘grace period’ that would allow those who had pre-ordered The Old Republic to play day one, meaning they wouldn’t have to wait until the physical copy arrived to play.

Now that promise has been revoked.

The ‘grace period’ was referred to when Bioware first announced Star Wars: The Old Republic wouldn’t be region locked.

I’d like to recap on a few other key questions and answers: – There are no plans to ‘region lock’ or ‘IP block’ players from the game. You may experience some latency issues if you’re not playing in a launch territory. – Anyone who pre-orders The Old Republic and redeems their pre-order code will be eligible for Early Game Access. – Those eligible for Early Game Access will be able to download the game client before it starts. – There will be a period after launch day in which those who have pre-ordered will be able to continue playing before entering their Game Code. More information on this will be made available closer to launch. – We will accept credit card payments for subscriptions.

These seem to be the key questions for those who choose to potentially import the game, and hopefully we’ve answered those.

We understand many of you are also interested to know the timeframe for release of The Old Republic outside of the initial launch countries, but unfortunately we cannot give you a definitive timeframe right now. As we get closer to our initial launch, hopefully that will change and we’ll be able to give you more details.

Now that we’re a week away from the game’s official launch, there has been no information on this grace period — quite the opposite. Now the pre-order FAQ page states that “[t]here will be no ‘grace period’ post launch”.

But bizarrely, Bioware’s automated Customer Service emails are still claiming a grace period does exist.

I am Protocol Droid N0-L9 Human-Cyborg relations.

I have received your question about the length of the Grace Period for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

A Grace Period is a specified amount of time post-launch where players who have pre-ordered can continue to play without having entered their retail product code.

It is common practice for MMOs to allow for a Grace Period, and Star Wars: The Old Republic will be no different in that respect.

When the game is released, you will have a five day post-launch grace period to purchase a full copy of the game and redeem your Game Code if you wish to continue playing the game without interruption.

Should you need further assistance with this matter, please do not hesitate to let me know. Galactic support is our specialty…

Sincerely,

Protocol Droid N0-L9 (aka Jigno) Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service

Despite the fact that Bioware’s own Customer Service is claiming the grace period still exists, the official line from Bioware itself is that there will be no grace perio — but the reasons why the message is so confused is unclear, as is the reason why Bioware would initially promise this feature then change its mind closer to launch. Especially since this feature encouraged so many Australian consumers to commit to pre-orders initially.

But this isn’t just relevant to Australian consumers — the game is onsale in Europe today, December 13, ahead of the game’s actual launch, which means that while European players will be able to play early through Bioware’s early access scheme, others will have to wait for a good time after the game’s initial launch to play. Most Australians who have pre-order box copies of the game will be a good month late to the party. For those that wanted to be involved in the game from day one, exponentially more important for MMO releases, this is a massive disappointment.

We are in the process of contacting EA locally to see if we can get an official response to the issue. The closest thing so far is this response from Stephen Reid, Community Manager for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the game. In order to continue playing past the Early Game Access period, you will need to enter a valid launch game code and payment method. Please read our FAQ for more information. We apologize for any previous messaging which may have led you to believe otherwise.

We’ll update this story with more information as we get it.

Thanks to Paul McDermott.

Comments

  • This is why I’m glad I pre-ordered from Origin… I figured if I was downloading the client for the early access why would I even need the physical copy? The CD’s would never get used.

    Also, from what I’ve been hearing, Amazon will be opening games and emailing people their CD keys before shipping them.

    I believe the reason EA forced the removal of the grace period is so people didn’t pre-order the game, play for 5-10-20 days on the grace period and then cancel their pre-order… EA wanted to maximise profits, pure and simple.

    • I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that amazon are definitely NOT going to be opening everyone’s game and sending them the CD key in advance. One guy on the SWTOR forum claims he had this done for him but iff true that’d be the anomaly rather than the rule

      • Hang on, so the code Amazon sent me when I preordered the CE (and then entered in to swtor.com) is not the game code? There’s a second code I need in the physical copy? Wow, they really needed to communicate that clearer, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people come the 20th if this is true.

        • That’d be the preorder code, you need to redeem that to get into the early game access. Unfortunately its based on the time you redeem it rather than when you order so at this stage you’ll probably get one day of early access

    • It might be you are right as to EA’s motives, should that be what the reason is for the bait and switch. However, nobody yet is coming clean about any of this, least of all Stephen Reid. I’ll include below the body of a key thread on the details about all this. There are questions to be answered, and it’s about time we got some. And an apology that doesn’t include the phrase “lead you to believe” as though the grace period wasn’t communicated multiple times by multiple official sources over months.

      It might even be the case that EA is seeing how much timidity exists in the customer base. They say we won’t miss a day if we buy direct from them instead some other retailers, then claim they’re hard at work on fixing this problem of their making, then we get the extended Early Access period. Perhaps the notion is to see what we’ll put up with at start, and follow with that scummy market research from hereon out, hoping enough customers will give them more money or just take their undeserved lumps.

      For me and many others, we don’t want to reward EA/Bioware by accommodating them after they’ve shafted and stonewalled us. Buying extra copies to get in after they yanked away the grace period seems like a recipe for a two-tier, abusive relationship that hard-core fans are begging to create and which will surely have an adverse effect on the MMO and the community that would use it.. Maybe the situation is that with all this money and time, they just haven’t got the nouse to run a MMO? It’d be better to know this now, than six months later if it collapses with our money through mismanagement we can already see signs of.

      Here’s a highly pertinent December 9 posting from the now conveniently nuked SWTOR forums about all this, a timeline of the grace period story.

      ————

      Timeline of the Grace Period cover-up | Today , 12:57 PM
      August 7:
      Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid posts:

      Quote:
      I’d like to recap on a few other key questions and answers:
      […]
      There will be a period after launch day in which those who have pre-ordered will be able to continue playing before entering their Game Code. More information on this will be made available closer to launch.
      […]
      These seem to be the key questions for those who choose to potentially import the game, and hopefully we’ve answered those.
      Note that this was not a case of Mr. Reid popping into a thread and making a quick comment. This was specifically represented as a summary of official answers to “key questions”. The Senior Online Community Manager acknowledges the importance of these questions and answers in the post itself. He reiterated the same information on Twitter around the same time.

      November 9: (one month ago today)
      During a fan-site summit, Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid was interviewed by Torocast.com:

      Quote:
      You will have time BEFORE Early Access to download the game client, and prepare for your life to be kept indoors for a long, long time. However, once that Early Access period is over, you’ll be required to enter your CD key before you can log onto your account again via the launcher. If you ordered digitally through Origin, they’ll email you the key. If you ordered the physical copy, you’ll want to get that as soon as possible. When presented with the question of the CE or even Standard addition purchased via Origin…they weren’t sure of the answer on whether they’d email you your CD code or not.
      A thread sprung up immediately inquiring about the previously promised grace period and the implications for pre-orders delivered by mail.

      Quote:
      Hey, I read on TOROcast’s update from the fansite thingy you guys had and it says that you have to enter your cd key on release date now in order to keep playing after early access is over? Is that true? In order for Amazon to ship my $150 order that same day I have to pay an extra 10 bucks, otherwise my free shipping wont get it to me till after Christmas?

      I thought there was a grace period for entering keys? What about people from Australia who are not gonna get theirs till January?
      Many follow-up posters in that thread cited the official confirmation of a grace period by Senior Online Community Manager Reid from August, and attributed the implied lack of a grace period in the interview to a mis-quote.

      Rather than correcting the false information he had posted in August, Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid stonewalled:

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by StephenReid
      We’ll have more information on our launch plans soon.

      There are multiple moving parts, so I’d ask you to be patient while we get details finalized.
      December 7:

      The pre-order FAQ page was modified to inform us that, contrary to the official statement of the Senior Online Community Manager in August:

      Quote:
      There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the Game without completing the following required steps for launch:
      […]
      Later on December 7, Senior Online Community Manager Reid confirmed, but did not admit, that the information he posted in August was false:

      Quote:
      There will be no ‘grace period’ post launch in which those who are in Early Game Access will be able to continue to play the game.
      On Twitter, he repeatedly denied any responsibility for and refused to acknowledge his false statements:

      Quote:
      Absolutely not in my control, yes.
      […]
      Not every decision is under my control, I’m afraid.
      […]
      Every decision is not mine to make.

      December 8:

      Forum user Horribus posts a response received from Bioware Customer Support concerning the grace period. Customer Support (falsely) denies that any official information on the existence of a grace period has ever been provided, prior to the December 7 update of the FAQ:

      Quote:
      We are sorry to hear about the issues you have been facing regarding information provided previously about grace period.Please be advised that the official information confirming that there is no grace period has been recently published and before the recent update we had not published any official information on this topic.

      December 9:

      As of this morning, Protocol Droids are still sending out the following information, assuring users that there will, in fact, be a grace period:

      Quote:
      I am Protocol Droid N0-L9 Human-Cyborg relations.

      I have received your question about the length of the Grace Period for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

      A Grace Period is a specified amount of time post-launch where players who have pre-ordered can continue to play without having entered their retail product code.

      It is common practice for MMOs to allow for a Grace Period, and Star Wars: The Old Republic will be no different in that respect.

      When the game is released, you will have a five day post-launch grace period to purchase a full copy of the game and redeem your Game Code if you wish to continue playing the game without interruption.

      Should you need further assistance with this matter, please do not hesitate to let me know. Galactic support is our specialty…

      Sincerely,

      Protocol Droid N0-L9 (aka Jigno)
      Star Wars: The Old Republic Customer Service
      Summary

      We know that in August, Senior Online Community Manager Reid posted in an official summary of “key” pre-order information, that there would be a grace period. That post has not, to this day, been corrected or amended.

      We also know that, at least a month ago, he was aware that this information was false, but did not correct it until two days ago, after the pre-order FAQ was updated, by starting this thread.

      We also know that the issue of pre-order by mail customers being locked out on the 20th was known to the Senior Online Community Manager at least a month ago. They have not had “a few days” to get this sorted out by “talking to retailers”, they have had at least a month.

      Despite the August post, and despite the fact that protocol droids have been telling people, as recently as this morning, that a 5-day grace period would be provided, Bioware Customer Support is denying that any grace period was ever suggested. It is apparently their position that neither posts from the Senior Online Community Manager, nor responses from their own protocol droids constitute “official information”.

      Questions

      Why does Bioware Customer Support deny, in the face of clear evidence, that a grace period was promised by the Senior Online Community Manager, and continues to be promised to this day, by its own protocol droids?

      If the Senior Online Community Manager’s August post was not “official information”, why was it never corrected, even after he was aware (at least one month ago) that it was false?

      If he was ordered not to correct the false information he had posted, after it had been cited in the November 9 thread, why?

      If the Senior Online Community Manager’s August post, and subsequent failure to correct it, was some sort of rogue action, contrary to official policy, why was he not fired?

      If the Senior Online Community Manager’s August post reflected official policy at the time, why does Bioware not honor its commitment to provide a grace period?

      And the big one:

      Why won’t *anybody* from Bioware or EA tell us the truth about this whole fiasco?
      “There will be a ‘grace period’ past launch day to allow time to receive a box.”
      – Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager

      • I used my real street address and an Oregon zip code… It’s probably something to do with your bank and how well they check your credit card against your address.

  • I really don’t understand why this isn’t coming out in Australia. Much smaller MMOs such as RIFT and Aion are released here day one, with pre-order bonuses. Yet a game which is rumoured to have an INCREDIBLY high budget is not? I don’t understand. In a country of 20M or so people, surely there’s enough fans of both MMOs and Star Wars to warrant a release. I’m not a SW fan but I am an MMO fan and if I wasn’t getting back into WoW I’d buy it day one.

    • The official line is that they are limiting initial launch to NA/Certain EU countries to manage the load on the servers at launch.

      Also there are rumors of local servers for AU launch.. but I doubt that.

  • According to a comment on this article at toroz.com.au , Amazon won’t be shipping prepaid time cards to Australia, which could further screw up the plans of any Australians wanting to play Old Republic.

    And apparently the official forums have been completely scrapped. As in, they don’t exist any more. New forums will be opened, but apparently you won’t be able to post unless you have early game access.
    Sigh.

  • Very frustrating.

    Their support with regard to security questions is also terrible. If you forget the answer to one of your questions, you have to call the U.S (for “security reasons”), spend a long time on hold and then if you can convince them you are who you say you are, they’ll provide you with the answer. It’s an appallingly poor system.

  • As soon as it changed from a specific statement to a vague one coupled with a “details coming later”, I assumed this would be the outcome so I’ve already processed the disappointment. I sure would have been happy to have my pessimism proven WRONG although that rarely ever happens. At least with the stupidly expensive shipping from amazon I should get it this year but the earliest day of their delivery estimate is christmas eve, I’m sure nothing can go wrong there…

  • I think this is the one MMO that might have taken a real chunk out of WoW and been able to compete without going free to play… but this launch day fiasco and a staggered global release?

    Eh. It might recover in time, they’ve clearly put a lot of work into it. But damn.

    • WoW had a staggered global release, according to the first website I pulled up in a google search, it came out in the US, AU & NZ on november 23 2004 and in Europe on february 11 2005

      • Yes but Europe run on different servers than the US, NZ & Australia, therefore they didn’t fall behind and people on every server weren’t raiding already.

        If it’s released in Australia and has it’s own Australian servers, that’ll redeem it tenfold, since WoW still doesn’t have ’em.

  • from what I’ve read Early Access will be staggered over the next 7 days (starting 13th in US) – depending on when you pre-ordered the game.. No problems so far

    However, as of the 20th you need to register the serial key that is contained within your copy of the game.. So having chosen priority shipment when I pre-ordered, I should be getting the game between the 23rd and 29th.. So for a few days, i won’t be able to play.. I’m sure i’ll live not playing for a couple of days as I finish off Skyrim, look at the Steam sales and go outside to see family for Christmas ;p

    • I’m with you on Skyrim – I’ve yet to start playing. And depending on how EA/Bioware choose to resolve this situation of their making, I might just give up on the whole idea of MMOs and cancel my order. Seriously, I don’t like being deceived as a paying customer – and others in the Green and Red Zones at time of forum nuke were cancelling their orders and swearing off all future EA/Bioware titles, contacting Green Zone consumer protection agencies, and mulling legal action – something EA is no stranger to where broken promises are concerned. And in that time period wherein I’m playing other games – like many of the rest of us – I might just decide that, nah – SWTOR is a good idea for a game, but so badly botched from the start that it’s not worth the bother or money when there are better ways to game. Maybe I’ll try another MMO, or replay KOTOR.

  • I’m annoyed at the no grace period, but it’s not a big deal for me. What is really getting to me is that their retailers are refusing to ship the game before the release date, even though Bioware is asking them to ship this week.

    • Yeah I’ve heard that. And it’s convenient for them to claim so. Bear in mind, these are the exact same official sources who said unambiguously multiple times and in multiple ways that there was a grace period. So why should we take these new pronouncements at face value, and not as a delaying tactic to avoid additional outrage and anger from those who are desperate to believe anything, no matter how implausible. But even if it is true, what does it say for their ability to run a MMO if they are browbeating retailers on the eve of launch? Look at the timeline I posted above from the forums. It seems they had a long time to sort this out, but just now they’re scrambling to fix it and welcoming our suggestions? I find this very hard to believe, and if true, is still a serious indictment of their managerial shortcomings.

      • Yes, I will believe them. If I don’t trust anything they say, at all, then why remain interested in the game. If you’re that much of a cynic, then I recommend you walk away and stop reading anything about it, cancel your preorder. You’re just going to continually take the negative from everything and it will ruin what is actually quite a good game to play.

        Rockjaw doesn’t make the decisions, and he can only relay what he is told. It’s not his fault that it was changed on him, and I choose to believe that what he tells people is the truth, to the best of his knowledge.

        • Who says I’m a cynic? I can only go on what THEY tell US. I see no reason when they’ve mislead us to take them at their word a second time. This is not an uncommon response in customer relations, and to default that the BUSINESS is always right (or must be given the benefit of the doubt) is something of a bizarre inversion of the old standard.

          But if you do think the current line about the last minute attempt by EA/Bioware to “fix” this, okay. It still makes them look like they’ve made a colossal mess of the launch they’ve surely spent years and loads of cash to bring to pass, and annoyed many customers – any of whom they will lose. And as a showcase of competence and a means of instilling confidence in them going forward, it’s a total bust.

          They’ve had plenty of time to talk straight with us on this and they haven’t. Maybe Stephen Reid is a patsy, maybe he’s a dupe, maybe he is a knowing accomplice in misleading us – but his record of official communication to the customer base over this whole affair leaves MUCH to be desired.

          But to say because I and others customers can see this and are calling him and EA/Bioware on this means we’ll ruin the game as you True Believers see it, seems unwarranted. I liked much of what I saw in beta, and was looking forward to it. I just don’t like what they’ve done and are doing to many customers like me, and if that means we skip SWTOR altogether or muddle through and continue to press them for answers, that’s up to us.

          As I say, their actions do not invoke confidence in how they will run – or if they are capable of running – a MMO. And that matters in time and money, for all of us – both for consumers and the industry.

          • After being my most anticipated game of 2011, the staggered release killed ANY desire I had for this game. Since then, it seems EA had taken every step possible in the wrong direction. I don’t appreciate what they have done, and I will not support a company that doesn’t support us. I urge anyone who feels the same to not buy this game, like me.

          • After being my most anticipated game of 2011, the staggered release killed ANY desire I had for this game. Since then, it seems EA had taken every step possible in the wrong direction. I don’t appreciate what they have done, and I will not support a company that doesn’t support us. I urge anyone who feels the same to not buy this game, like me. After being my most anticipated game of 2011, the staggered release killed ANY desire I had for this game. Since then, it seems EA had taken every step possible in the wrong direction. I don’t appreciate what they have done, and I will not support a company that doesn’t support us. I urge anyone who feels the same to not buy this game, like me.

          • Imagine how the people who aren’t aware of the situation and don’t read this – so far, unique – article will feel when they are locked out on launch day, as a surprise gift from EA/Bioware for pre-ordering.

            Apoplectic with rage hardly seems in the ballpark.

    • And if they’d said that FROM THE START, instead of what they did, maybe the number of angry consumers would be a whole lot less. But the thing is, a grace period where you can’t enter a product key because you had to choose/were told you could choose to buy in ways that they now say don’t guarantee launch day access (on launch eve, mind you!) is no grace period. It’s just a slap in the face to many people who would have been their most loyal customers.

    • Early adoptera paying a premium 0_0 NO WAY!!!!

      I also paied like $600 for my 360 which is brand new and higher model for $200…

      Welcome to the Real World… But i CBF waiting 😛

    • Cymelion, you’re basing that assumption on the array of other unpopular MMO’s that have gone the free to play model… But this one has already had 2 million participants in the Beta program, 750,000 of them online during the stress test weekend. Bioware/EA have said they only need 500,000 to turn a profit, and there’s a good possibility this will overtake WoW as the most popular MMO out there, and WoW is still paid subscription 7 years later.

      This is also EA we’re talking about, there’s no way in hell they would give this out for free unless their website glitched again.

      • Glenn – Yay for betas Age of Conan and Warhammer both had really large numbers in the Beta. Then what? they released people bought them and played them a bit and the fluff players died out.
        Fluff players are the casuals the ones who pump up economies the ones who don’t take it seriously and are they with their friends. Tell you what the Casuals are all going to go Jedi because they want to be the good guys and the Sith will become severly out numbered making people less likely to play Sith – This game will have heavy influence from George Lucas and just look at how he treats villains now. TOR will fail it’s only a question of wither it takes 1 year or 2.

        • I think you underestimate the fanbase behind Star Wars, not to mention how good this game is to play even on your own… the level of detail in the stories and voice over work is astounding, and one of the reasons I’m buying it… This is as close as we’ll get to KOTOR3 for a while.

          Every MMO falls eventually but don’t understimate it… Star Wars Galaxies was launched in 2003 and it’s only being shutdown now (unfortunately for Galaxies players to make way for TOR) and it’s looking very likely that TOR will knock WoW off it’s 7 year mantle, especially since WoW is brining in freaking pandas.

        • I was under the impression that the majority of registered ToR accounts had selected sith classes as their “Preferred” choice…

          That and you’re talking about “How George Lucas treats villains” as though it’s different to EVERY MOVIE IN EXISTANCE. The Villains die, the heroes live happily ever after….that’s classic story telling, not George Lucas.
          Besides, go watch all of ToR’s marketing video’s and cinematic trailers….There’s YET to be a video where the Republic (Good Guys) truly come out on top, the best they manage is the Pyrrhic victory on Alderaan.

          • Again why can’t you just enjoy game you like and stop fighting or/and throwing out your s or EA ( doesn’t matter ) numbers and all that is irrelevant.Stop garbiging other and focus enjoy or review what you like. Ppl will not hange religion because of ppl like you.

      • And what does that tell you 7 years and they still can charge and going good. I like both . I don’t want to fight who or what is better but the fact is SWTOR has a long way to prove itself. ALL OTHER-guess

  • Does anyone know if we buy a US account if accounts will be transferable?

    I want to pre-order but i dont want to start my account all over again if the account cant be transfered across 🙁

    • There is not any region locking like in WOW – you can create characters on euro servers, NA servers and whatever other servers they bring out in the future, without even logging out of the game or changing any settings. The server list is tabbed per region. You don’t have to buy a specific version to play on specific servers.

      More pertinent to you might be if they plan on having character transfers, and I have no idea there. I assume paid transfers will be in eventually.

  • Hmmm, there have been a lot of issues around this. Glad I don’t play MMOs because all this ongoing drama would have been unbelievably frustrating for me.

    My sincere sympathies to everyone who just wants to play the damn game already.

    • Many still do, but some of us are wondering what the point is anymore. They give an undertaking, they change it at the last minute, they claim they did and didn’t give us a grace period (at the same time, if you’ll read the forum timeline above) and we’re still told to sit, swivel and whistle Dixie. Should we just take them at their word AGAIN? Either way, it’s completely FUBARed. And if we accept this now, what’s to say they won’t do it again and again if they think shoddy management and/or greedy scheming is acceptable to the user base? “Red Zoners? Ah, just jokes – you can’t resubscribe. Merry Christmas!”

  • Well i live in Australia, and just successfully preordered through the European store, however i had to create one of those funky virtual debit cards to do it (which was a massive pain in the ass) after several hundred attempts on the U.S website and getting payment authorization failure i first contacted a friend in the u.s, but the payment still failed, so i contacted a friend in denmark, and they did it for me with my virtual number.

    Ended up working 😀
    So i’ll be getting my gamekey on time.. I hope anyway..

    So all i can recommend to people is.. Have a crack at trying to use a VPN (virtual private network) that emulate’s IP’s in europe, as opposed to the U.S, because the U.S website is buggy as hell anyway, many U.S customer’s have their payments fail. So i hope maybe this can help others.

    Feeling your way through a website in another language probably won’t be easy though, however the european site has different layout, and the way you register is different. Rather then providing a credit card upon paying for a game, you have to provide a credit card in order to register, so essentialy you know it worked based off whether you can successfully register with a credit card from your ip blocked country.

    I cannot say for certain this didn’t simply work because my friend did it IN denmark, but he still used a virtual credit card with a billing address the same as my real card tied to it (which they can see is australian, i believe), So if you enter in some random addresses from a european country on a european vpn, you may just get it to work. But i cant guarentee, however seeing as i also got a friend in the U.S to attempt to buy for me and it didn’t work for her (notorious payment authorization failed), but worked on the europe site, i’d say they’re hosted and created by different people, and thus the security detection features for VPN’s/users from other countries, may not be specifically the same.

    Sorry to make this so long winded, but if anyone who understood what i’m trying to say is willing to give it a go, it may just work out for the best. Hope i helped!! I spent 3 freakin days trying to by a digital copy before the denmark http://store.origin.com was my saviour (and the help of a good friend, but that may or may not be necessary, hence why encourage someone to test it, as i said the website’s whole registration format and purchase format is different o that of the U.S).

    🙂 Hope this helps gets other aussies (or one of the many forgotten about countries in EA and Bioware’s “Global Release” plan) into the game!

  • The staggering thing from my point of view (someone who has ordered a copy from Amazon), is that Amazon US is refusing to ship prior to the 20th because Bioware/EA have said they are not allowed to, yet Bioware/EA refute that this is the case. I mean, wtf, how can 2 companies get into such a state of conflict over something so simple. It has been days like this, it should take a simple phone call and you’re done.

    • And another thing on top of that, it’s an online game, who the hell cares when the physical copy gets shipped, unless the servers are up you can’t play anyway!!

  • EA: Everyone’s Angry.

    Really dropped the ball on this ENTIRE thing. And they can’t pick it up, because they sold their hands for a quick buck.

  • This is a real concern having no grace period for myself. Seeing that I’ll be getting the physical game between the 23rd to the 29th, like many others here, it’s going to make it difficult for me to manage a 500 player guild which I am a officer in (The Spoony Expendables for anyone who want to know).

    I’m pretty sure that there’s going to be enough people playing the game to make their quota so I don’t understand why they’re not doing a grace period.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this, thanks for the heads up Mark!

    • Yep, a big cheer to Mark Serrels -the only guy in the gaming press with the gumption, grit and decency to cover this story as it deserves to be! 🙂

    • Why wait? Order from Amazon, don’t register for early access, get the game mid january at the latest, it’ll cost $75 and be cheaper than the proper AU release.

      • I didn’t think Amazon shipped to Australia.

        Everytime I’ve tried to order it it says it’s not available in my region.

        • They do, but with some products, they don’t ship international. That is why you need US buddies so you can negate that. =)

          • And in this case they definately do, I an many others have gotten from there. (Well, ok, I hope I have. Won’t know until xmas. 😉 ). Amazon only retricts if specifically told they have to, generally.

  • I also selected the more expensive priority shipping when ordering from Amazon; I am hoping that it doesn’t get stuck in the Christmas postal congestion but am not holding my breathe.

    Hopefully EA/Bioware will come to the table for their customers who’ve invested in a product that shows a lot of merit but may crash and burn if this isn’t resolved.

  • Luckily I pre-ordered basically the day you were able to, so I am hoping to get early access when it unlocks sometime in the next 24 hours.

    Then I can get some quality time sunk into the game before my copy gets here on the 28th (if it goes past this date I will be very angry with Amazon as they have this date specified :P)

    I asked Amazon whether I could simply have the code emailed to me, but they are 100% against opening any game related items and would not allow it =[

    • Lol. Did you hear that “bioware” is making the new c&c? Yeah, EA will abuse ANY name or franchise it can to make a quick buck. Remember: EA hates you.

  • — I pre ordered the collector’s edition from gamestop (roswell,ga) — not only did I have to send swtor.com copies of my receipt, but it now shows u pin my origin manager 🙂 – so my buddies are saying the game will release 12/13/2011 at 7am. we’ll see.

  • “We apologize for any previous messaging which may have led you to believe otherwise.”

    *May* have *led* you to *believe*.. wtf? They said it in black and white.

    • Agreed, it was NOT ambiguous!!!

      Must have been a Jedi PR trick.

      Here’s a five day grace period.

      There never was a grace period. Move along!

  • If I was to buy a time card from one of those european websites would that work? I really dont want to have to wait until mid January when my copy arrives from Amazon…..I have early access – or should have – but then my game isn’t due to arrive till Jan. Will this time card option work? In theory it should right?

  • The grace period does annoy me, but I’m in luck as it falls perfectly at the same time as my trip to visit my old lady over east lol so i get to play the early access, go to sydney on the last day of early access and come back around about the day I should receive my game in the mail 🙂

  • I was going to play this game but now I wont bother. It was just to bide time until the cutting edge Guild Wars 2 comes out next year. Guild Wars 2 is taking MMO RPG to a whole other level far beyond the graphics and mechanics of this game.

  • Well i Pre-ordered from amazon, chased the customer support down and according to them i will be sent a 1 month game code to tide me over until i get the boxed copy. Nice storm in the teacup u got here tho

  • So, I’ve just spoken to a guy at amazon and he said, quote:

    “Once your order is shipped after release date (20th) you will receive an e-mail containing your game code”. Who knows if this is even true because Ive heard of other people saying they’ve contacted Amazon and have heard the opposite, but I screenshotted it so I could kick up a fuss (not that it will probably help) if i don’t get that email 😛

  • @Tre717
    i did the exact same thing, guy said i will receive my key via email from amazon. save the screenshot so we’ll see what happens i guess

  • I ordered from a gold selling / account / key site
    they sent the preorder code straight away …. worked

    Now get the proper game key sent via email in few days

  • I just contacted Amazon and received this response:

    “I checked the description of the Star Wars: The Old Republic offer and see we’ll send your code via e-mail after the order ships.

    As long as your order meets all of the terms and conditions for the offer, you’ll receive your promotional certificate by December 26.”

  • Amazon have just announced they will be shipping on the 15th. I will still be cancelling and buying from a shonky key site coz I don’t want to have to wait!

  • This is a very simple situation and it’s embarrassing how badly Australians have mishandled it. On day one of pre-orders, I ordered from Amazon. I got a pre-order code. I entered it. As the whole situation shook out and it was dubious whether there would be a grace period or not and, even if there was, it was unlikely to be long enough to get the game to Australia, I set the delivery address to a friend in the US. Simple. And to those who might say it’s all too hard and complex, well, if the game’s not being launched and supported here, sometimes you have to go the extra mile. Long story short, I got into the game in early access 11pm last night. I’ll be in for a week before the game opens. When my US mate gets my discs he will tell me the code and I will continue playing. Long story short, to me, this is the biggest non issue in the world. Australian users needed to get smart, work it out and not cry in the corner when the game was harder than usual to get. That doesn’t make EA right to do what it’s done but, you know, I think a lot of the whinging that goes on is really uncalled for, too. What are you all? 5?

        • Erm, guys, not sure if you’ve ever actually played an MMO before, but you make friends with TONS of Americans, and people from all over the world. Perhaps if all you folk who are now pretending to be passionate about TOR at the last minute, had actually done the hard yards over the last three years in its official community and maybe even started, or joined, a guild, you’d know tons of US people you could send the discs to. So, that makes me an idiot? Hardly.

          • Umm, I joined an Australian guild, because that makes more sense in relation to latency and timezones.

            But I’m sorry, next time I’ll spend three years developing friendships with random Americans in the hope that one day I’ll be able to ask them a favour.

            I realise this problem isn’t an issue for you, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue for anyone else. Taking convoluted measures to get a basic problem fixed should be unnecessary, and I’m entitled to be annoyed about it.

          • Not sure how joining “an Australian guild” will happen with latency as all servers are US-based and it’s likely to stay that way in the future, ie: even if they label some servers as “Oceanic” in the future, the servers themselves will still be sitting in a server farm in the US somewhere. But putting that aside, you will note my original comment said, “That doesn’t make EA right to do what it’s done…” because, get this, I agree that it’s a crappy situation (!!!) I’m simply pointing out that, when faced with a crappy situation, we have had a chance to step up and get it together and there /have/ been ways for Australians to be in beta, and to be in early access, and all of these things that other Australians are still scratching their head about, five months later. And that, to me, is just so frustrating to read because it didn’t have to be that way for people.

          • True there are no Australian servers, but there will be differences between the different U.S and European servers in terms of latency to Australia. Also we’ll all have a ping in the same range, rather than one person having a ping of 40ms and the rest 400ms. I hate that.

            I understand what you’re saying now, but your original post said it was “the biggest non-issue in the world” and you were telling people they’re behaving like 5 year olds for having valid complaints. Yes, there are ways around a lot of these issues, but we shouldn’t have to use workarounds, and you can’t blame people for not wanting to go to a whole bunch of effort to get what they expected for their money.

          • Yeah… after all the reasons EA/BioWare have given me to not trust them, I’m gonna bug a player from Hawaii I’ll never actually meet to let me send crap them to and stuff around with a code, hope they won’t just use the code for themselves, hope I get picked for Early Access, hope EA don’t re-define Global again or IP block us, and then give them extra money for the “privilege” of jumping through their idiotic hoops.

            At this point, they can blow it out their arse. I’d rather take the monthly fee and give it to the local RSPCA shelter.

          • That’s a good point, if there’s anything I’ve learned from the internet, it’s that people are arseholes. I wouldn’t be trusting them with my expensive goods.

          • Phooey to that! 😀

            There are people who do things you think are good some times and people who do things you think are bad sometimes and all kinds of variations inbetween as to duration and intention, pretty much everywhere you go.

            Even here! Or are you making a joke at your own expense, Gladice? 😉

            That said, I too must chime in with the idea (perhaps unintentional) that an instant American friendship is a solution to the dog’s breakfast of a launch that SWTOR has been given by the people who made it.

            Had I a time machine, I could surely set things in train to divert around the grace period Grinching we’ve gotten on launch eve and make a bunch of pals – just in case some get inexplicably sick, dead or bored with computers and their games – so that I could rely on at least one of them getting through to provide me with a product key to get me beyond the Early Access period. But then, why stop there?

            I could go further back, and make sure the grace period wasn’t taken away, by calculated tweaks to the timeline. HR could have been gamed to hire more competent managers and less duplicitous spokespersons, and ensured that a tone of honesty and respect to paying customers giving their trust to a yet to be proven MMO was always present.

            But alas, I’m all out of gigawatts. Of course, one could perhaps still catch a flight to a Green Zone country and physically pick up the game. But I guess I’m just a meek consumer, too willing to let EA/Bioware get away with it…

  • The point I was making about knowing Americans who could help people in the present day, ties in heavily to the other comment I made about being involved in the TOR community for more than just a few days, or weeks, prior to launch. It’s actually been a really great experience, since October 2008, to be in that community and, perhaps wrongly, I assumed anyone with the kind of passion for Star Wars/Bioware that is currently going mental about this situation would have been the kind of person to have been a part of that community all along!

    • People actually followed an unseen, unfinished game that long?

      Huh, no wonder they’ve raged at all the back-pedalling crap BioWare have thrown at them the last few months. True to their idea of service, they’ve blocked the Search function on the forums, to stop anyone reposting their old statements.

      • I agree, there’s lots of good stuff to be found on the boards. Had some truly fascinating and challenging discussions on lore and ethics I was delighted to learn and knew nothing about beforehand. I enjoyed it plenty. There’s fun to be had there. I’ve gotten friendly with some of the posters, just as I have with previous mutual interest sharing folk elsewhere, online or off.

        But on the other hand, one’s real life duties can get in the way of attending to online presences as much as one might wish – whether through illness, work or other responsibilities. And not everyone would, could or should expect that such an association will, can or must result in a happy workaround of the grace period mess, as you described.

        On top of all that, not everyone, even if they really liked the game in beta, feels comfortable in imposing on others in such a way, even if those others could potentially – if not in practice – be able to assist.

        Life’s a rich tapestry, you know? 😉 😀

        • Right, but without trying to overstate things, as soon as the “red zone” situation became clear, I had people tripping over themselves, from my guild, to let me post the game to their place. I’d already made arrangements but, in truth, I would have never had to ask a soul as I had so many friends wanting to do it. And, again, I make it clear that people shouldn’t have had to do it, but when a game’s not being launched or supported here, officially speaking, sometimes you have to go outside your comfort zone if you want to play it. I did, and I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days in pre-game access.

          • Meh – it’s a buyer’s market, and when a company’s as lazy, back-pedalling and outright deceptive as this, I go with someone better.

  • Horses for courses and all that, one size that fit you wouldn;t have fit me.

    But I’m glad it’s worked out for you. I mean that. It’s been a tough launch for a lot of us, no matter where we live.

    Gotta go to hospital now. Enjoy the game, maybe I’ll see you in it some time! 🙂

    • You said it! Congrats to ALL parties who helped make this possible, when the odds were more than stacked against it. 😀

        • Well, I pre-ordered from Amazon, paying for express international delivery. They sent me an email on the 18th US time saying it had shipped, and gave me a tracking number with i-Parcel. The tracking number returned “not found’ until 1pm on the 19th, when it said they’d received it at a warehouse in New Jersey. There it stayed until 10am on the 21st, when it was “exported” from the same location.

          Lost in a warehouse for 2-3 days? Not very express, Amazon. 🙁
          So now I’m locked out because I haven’t entered my game code within the *two day* grace period. 🙁

          Interestingly, just before lockout I was apologising to the person I’d randomly grouped, saying I wouldn’t be able to get back on. They said they were just outside Seattle, had also pre-ordered via Amazon because EA/Origin didn’t think they were in the US, and they hadn’t received their copy either. He was telling me “warehouse delays” (where orders sit in warehouse for a few days before moving) is pretty common in the US in the week leading up to Christmas. You’d think in picking a launch dat of Dec 20 EA/Origin would have thought of this and come up with a solution.

          (Both of us were playing on our Amazon pre-access codes.)

          Personally I don’t see why for those with pre-order codes they don’t allow a longer grace period for putting in the CD key if we sign up to a subscription immediately. Are they *trying* to get an award for “worst post-launch PR disaster”?

          • As an update – I’ve contacted Amazon who say they do not have access to the CD keys, and I’ll just have to wait. They have however agreed that the delivery has been delayed beyond reasonable levels and have refunded my delivery charges, since I paid extra for faster delivery I clearly haven’t got. 🙁

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